By Chevy Philips,
Special to Rebel Youth
April 30th marks the victory of the communist-led forces (1975) against the US-led invasion of Vietnam, and also marks the day (1945) that Adolf Hitler put a bullet in his head.
The US military action in Vietnam is not so far removed, in terms of war crimes, from the actions of the Nazis.
Bear in mind the following:
- As many as six million Vietnamese people were murdered.
- There were more bombs dropped on Vietnam than by all sides in all previous wars throughout history, and three times more dropped than by all sides in the Second World War.
- 19,000,000 gallons of herbicide was dumped on the land. Its presence lingers.
- 9,000 of 15,000 hamlets were destroyed in the south of Vietnam.
- In the North, all six industrial cities were devastated; 28 of 30 provincial towns and 96 of 116 district towns were levelled by bombing.
- The United States threatened to use nuclear weapons thirteen times. Nixon chided Kissinger for being too squeamish about this. Nixon said he, himself, just "didn’t give a damn."
- After the war, unexploded bombs and mines permeated the landscape and took an additional 42,000 lives. Millions of acres of land have still not been cleared of live ordnance.
- Agent Orange and other defoliants have caused severe health problems for millions of Vietnamese.
- Nearly all of Vietnam’s triple canopy forests were destroyed.
- 3,000,000 tons of ordnance struck 100,000 sites during the "secret" war in Cambodia, causing widespread social dislocation, destruction of crops, and starvation.
- 2,756,941 tons of ordnance dropped in Laos on 113,716 sites. Much of the Laotian landscape was blown to bits.
At a news conference in 1977, in response to a reporter’s question asking if the United States had a moral obligation to help rebuild Vietnam, President Jimmy Carter infamously replied: "The destruction was mutual. We went to Vietnam without any desire to capture territory or impose American will on other people. I don’t feel that we ought to apologize or castigate ourselves or to assume the status of culpability."
(Taken from Stone and Kuznick's book on the subject)
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